This is such a cool little thing I knew I just had to have it! This is a silicone strainer with a difference. It has a soft but sturdy plastic handle and the bowl of the strainer which is round, collapses into itself to lie flat for storage. When you need to drain something, you simple punch the center of the colander (ok you don't really have to "punch" it but it is kind of fun to do) and out it pops ready and waiting to do its job.
It washes up easily, is dishwasher safe and can tolerate boiling hot water being poured through it without any sign of wear or tear or issues.
It's perfect for draining those pots of pasta - although you wouldn't want to try and drain any more than about 5 or 6 cups of any given item as the strainer isn't a large capacity one. It is held easily with one hand which makes it ideal for straining all kinds of things including juice from pickles, oil or water from salmon or tuna, Chinese noodles, Kraft Dinner and so much more.
The one that I have is blue colored with a white and blue colored handle and when you open it up (expand it) it appears to have 3 tiers to it the way that it is shaped but it works exceptionally well and for just $4.49 it was a great bargain.
I'd recommend this product to anyone who is tired of struggling with a large strainer or who is tired of having their strainers fall out of the cupboard. This particular one works great for sticking it handle side down into a kitchen counter container I have that also houses most of my long handled spoons and stirring utensils.
Great little idea!
Update On Aug 30, 2009: Now that I've owned and used this strainer for awhile, I've uncovered a weakness with it that I'll pass on as this will pertain to almost any similar products I'm sure. The one thing this strainer isn't, is dishwasher safe. Since I purchased it I've always attempted to keep it from the dishwasher simply due to the fact our water is set to a fairly hot degree and I preferred not to take any chances that this heat might cause problems. While being incredibly sweet last week, my son and his girlfriend decided to clean the kitchen and they placed the strainer in the dishwasher. The following evenng while straining food, the strainer separated from the handle and of course the food ended up sitting on the bottom of the sink! The strainer still works but now I just have to ensure I have a good hold on both the handle and the strainer body to avoid further accidental dumpings.
Update On Aug 30, 2009: I neglected to mention that the tag that came with this product indicated that it was "Dishwasher safe" - but obviously only to a degree and definitely only if your water is set to a rather low temp.